Prius Personal Log  #1127

February 9, 2022  -  February 13, 2022

Last Updated:  Sat. 3/26/2022

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2-13-2022

Stellantis Recall.  Notice was given today of 19,808 plug-in hybrid minivans (Chrysler 2017-2018 Pacifica) being recalled.  Owners are urged to stop recharging them.  12 reports of fires while parked have been report.  All were turned off at the time.  8 were connected to EVSE.  There were no known related accident or injuries.  It was quite strange to hear.  GM screwed up royally, repeating the same mistake Lexus made decades ago.  It was quite bizarre to see GM fail to recognize it was following the same behavior, repeating the same bad decisions.  You'd think they were study history to avoid repeating it.  Nope, GM is too stupid to learn from anyone else... or even themselves.  Thank goodness that isn't true for Stellantis.  Rather than denial or downplay, it was an immediate acknowledgement of a serious issue.  Phew!  What a relief for both customers and the market as a whole.  If something bad happens, don't make it worse by avoiding responsibility.  After all, sometimes the cover-up is worse than the crime.  Who knew that advice would apply to the presidency more than once.  Talking about repeating of history.  Whoa!

2-13-2022

Raise Concern?  It never ceases to amaze me how poorly informed some people are.  It's just like the "sucker born every minute" wisdom tries to tell us.  There are those who are oblivious to the world around them.  Not knowing something is normal.  But to get online and consistently argue something incorrect is an entirely different matter.  You have the time & resources to look the topic.  They don't though.  The most mind-boggling example of that was all the fight that came from Volt owners who not only didn't actually understand how Prius PHV worked, they didn't understand how their own plug-in hybrid worked either.  When I would present them with detail explaining what was not being recognized or understood, they would just blow it off... not ever bothering to actually learn.  That's why the rhetoric now is so easy to disregard.  They failed with the "behind" narrative and now struggle to find something else to self-validate with.  Nothing works now to justify their superiority complex. It's rather fascinating to witness their struggle.  That's why it has become such a delight to provide history.  I can point out facts from the past now without any real resistance.  Antagonists are pre-occupied with their loss of status.  So, I feel free to provide lots of background whenever a constructive comment emerges.  This is such an example:  Toyota has been producing plug-ins since 2012.  That's when I got my Prius PHV.  It worked flawlessly for 5.5 years (a little past 92,000 miles).  I replaced it with a Prius Prime... which will be replaced by a bZ4X.  I have shared a number of technical drive videos about each on my channel.  There's nothing I can see that would raise any concern.  Toyota does extensive research & develop prior to rollouts.  Each of the non-plug Prius I had (all first year models, like the plug-ins) overwhelmingly proved Toyota did their homework.  Don't overlook the fact that Toyota has been joint producing EV converts in China for awhile, then followed up by delivering a Lexus BEV there and in Europe last year.  So, it's not like they don't have a wealth of experience already.

2-12-2022

Arguing Against PHEV.  There are some who are livid about plug-in hybrids surviving our chaotic market.  They weren't supposed to endure.  Only BEV are the answer, supposedly.  The idea of transition out of necessity is something being adamantly disregarded.  Somehow, we will just magically abandon ICE, as if overnight there will be no more demand for gas.  Ugh.  This is why I had so many problems over the years.  Purists were in denial that we would have to take small steps.  Skipping to the end is all they would ever endorse, regardless of cost.  It simply isn't realistic for 100% of new production to instantaneously switch... no matter how much they claim it can.  Fortunately, there are some sensible voices chiming in.  I try to provide supportive comment when I encounter that critical thinking.  This was such the case:  That point about only needing 120v is a big deal.  Notice how BEV purists evade the topic of multiple vehicles at home?  It's difficult enough in some situations to get one level-2 charger setup, but 2 is an entirely more complex matter.  It can be expensive not having a decent location or even enough capacity.  We will be replacing one of our PHEV this year with a BEV.  That came about from planning ahead, getting the garage wired for two level-2 chargers.  Not just that either, the setup also had to be adaptable to still reach if the port on the next vehicle was in another location and to be able to charge outside the garage.  None of those home infrastructure upgrades happen quickly.  Being able to leverage 120v input in the meantime is priceless.

2-12-2022

Propaganda Spreading.  A new bit of information which emerged as a result of that "Guest Contributor" article was how tainted the cherry-picked data actually was.  I was taken aback by how bad this actually was: "The most ridiculous part of the EU company car scheme is that the employee get a gasoline card, but no reimbursement for electricity that is put in.  The simplest solution would be to take away the gas card and replace it with company-paid memberships in the various local charging points."  No wonder that study provided the results wanted.  If you encourage the use of gas by compensating its cost and discourage electricity by not, why would you expect any other outcome than what they found?  It's outright sabotage.  Imagine if an employer did the opposite, providing the employee with a smart level-2 at their home.  Think about the disincentive that would be for going to the gas station.  You wouldn't even have to submit a bill for compensation.  The charger could only be used for vehicle charging and it would be at the comfort & convenience of the employee.  How wouldn't that be great encouragement?  Instead, we have spreading of propaganda by those unwilling to address practical solutions.  Ugh.

2-12-2022

Consider The Source.  There was an article today claiming we should "fix the loophole" for PHEV... which made me immediately suspicious.  The opening sentence was: "Real-world CO2 emissions of plugin hybrid cars (PHEVs) are on average 2–4 times higher than official values..."  That raised a red flag.  It got worse when I considered the source.  It was written by a "Guest Contributor".  That's a dead giveaway something is amiss.  Sure enough, the ramblings to follow confirmed it.  I added to the growing list of comments posted with:  The study making that claim has been discredited for having used selective & outdated data.  In other words, the source got caught cherry-picking.  But since its purpose was to impede, mission accomplished.  It's the equivalent of drawing conclusions about internet access back when speeds were slower and smart-phones were uncommon.  The technology has evolved.  Arguments have failed to acknowledge the improvements.  Reality is there are some PHEV now quite capable of serving as an EV for most driving.  That makes it a very effective means of getting people from a wide variety of situations to plug in now, rather than having to wait until affordable BEV and associated infrastructure become common.  What people fail to recognize is a PHEV purchased now will become greener as the years progress.  More and more opportunity charging will happen as more charging locations emerge.  Simple things, like being able to recharge while visiting at a friends house are never considered.  A few years from now, that behavior will become a no-brainer.  Those against PHEV with full EV drive don't want you to consider anything beyond their talking-points.  They feed you propaganda, hoping you won't take a moment to consider what they are omitting.

2-12-2022

Demonic Laugh.  It is quite bizarre how antagonists filled with deep hate they are not afraid to show will use the cliché of evil to express their feeling.  They just laugh in that demonic way Hollywood portrays to almost a comical extreme.  Each reacts the same way to, total denial.  No matter what you say, they just plain don't care.  It was like that with the Volt troublemakers and continues that way now with others.  They will latch on to some outdated, incorrect, or incomplete information and push that blindly.  No matter what you do to provide clarification, they don't listen.  It's truly remarkable.  Back then, it was the belief that Prius Prime didn't actually deliver full all-electric drive.  No matter how much evidence to the contrary you'd provide, even detailed video, they would outright dismiss it.  Today, it was the preoccupation with hydrogen blinding any type of critical thought.  The attack today was relentless.  He didn't want to believe Toyota would ever produce an EV, period.  All I would get was "too late" conclusions.  Game over.  Toyota has supposedly lost before the race ever began.  It's so stupid, it is almost senseless to reply.  Trouble is, those sources are who create & spread misinformation for the sake of undermining.  In other words, they just lie.  Dealing with such blatant intent to harm is really difficult.  I keep trying though.

2-12-2022

Will Slow Progress.  Yet another "will slow progress" argument ensued.  This time though, I actually had someone trying to justify their position with reasoning rather than just logic (crunched numbers).  That is constructive; however, I know it won't work.  The pattern is quite familiar.  Once upon a time, it was referred to as "trickle-down economics".  Having proven not to work, it lost its identifier but the idea still lives on.  Yesterday's exchange was summed up with: "The low end of the market can wait until 2030+ with minimal climate impact.  Our priority is replacing big and expensive vehicles as fast as possible."  That is an absolutely awful way to stir interest across the market.  Sure, you'll get enthusiasts really excited, but ordinary consumers will look upon those offerings as expensive toys that don't take the situation seriously.  Notice how Tesla hasn't made any progress with mainstream change?  The status quo remains intact.  My post was with the hope of simply not arguing anymore, concluding with something for him to consider the next time:  Your argument for the top-approach approach is riddles with failure examples.  We have seen the same reasoning used over and over throughout history.  They all share the same shortcoming: commitment.  If it takes too long, is too expensive, or it too expensive the effort is abandoned.  Ironically, that ends up putting you in the very situation you raise concern about... a mismatch of outcome.  In this case, the main barrier is short-sightedness.  The bottom-up approach addresses this.  A charging location with 4 fast-chargers delivering dependable 150kW per station that's busy all the time will rise to the top for picks in the next round of funding.  In other words, this initial effort is to identify how future budget allocations will be allocated.  That real-world data is priceless.  From it, you can determine how many more stations should be invested in and what speed they should be.  It's quite absurd to those complaining to do so without providing anything of substance to support their claim... especially when history warns us about exactly what they propose.

2-11-2022

Follow Up.  The reality that 350 kW charging is expensive means nothing to an enthusiast.  They expect the hardware (and utility service) to just magically happen, without any concern for cost to business or customer.  They demand the best possible charging speed, period.  It is like any other obsession, never enough.  Setting a target, then moving on once it is achieved, doesn't happen.  Notice how range and acceleration speed is on a never-good-enough scale?  They don't even see how much waste results from pursuing a goal that will never be reached.  Ugh.  I posted this as follow up to the nonsense today:  Perspective of an enthusiast carries an unconscious bias.  You are dismissing a speed as slow since all you have associated with are faster.  Reality is, the current market is almost entirely filled with expensive choices incapable of competing directly with ICE mainstream shoppers purchase.  Look at the Kona EV (Hyundai's current affordable choice) being rolled out to all 50 states this year.  Its maximum is 75 kW.  Like that or not, we will see an increase of those affordable configurations in the next few years.   In fact, the recent upgrade to ID.4 bumped its maximum to 135 kW. Heck, the F-150 Lightning isn't even out yet and it will have a maximum of 150 kW.  Proving faster is better won't be easy.  The reduction of time is not linear to the increase of speed.  Cost per session (since someone must pay for the high-demand service & equipment) will be difficult to justify as well. Enthusiast want is not mainstream need.

2-11-2022

Makes No Sense.  We are clearly in a new stage of rhetoric.  The current administration just revealed a new plan, a proposed $5 Billion will be allocated for building DC fast-chargers.  It is the 21st Century version of electrifying America.  Remember the middle of the previous century, when the same was done to ensure everyone had electricity in their homes?  Now, we are pursuing a goal to ensure everyone has electricity for their travel.  In the proposal were specifics that really got some enthusiasts upset.  It was a requirement that each location have at least 4 chargers each capable of provided 150 kW speed.  Some have been absolutely demanding faster, claiming anything less than 350 kW would be counter-productive.  They spin it like this: "Not in 2022.  EVs already charge faster than that.  It makes no sense to build a slow 150kw charger at a time when new EVs can charge faster than that."  Basically, they are just ignoring the data they don't like.  I punched back with:  Do you really think the Federal Highway Administration is going to approve chargers that cost more?  States have until August 1 to submit their EV infrastructure deployment plan to the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation.  Budget for this is limited and there will be a lot of requests (to be approved by September 30).  Reaching a goal of 500,000 means delivering balance.  If you cannot justify faster, it won't get approved.  In other words, it make a lot of sense.  We want to establish a widespread presence with reasonable expectations.  30 minutes for a charge to 80% means something competitive with enough of quantity to address range anxiety.

2-10-2022

Nearby DC.  Talk of DC fast-charging is finally happening.  I was blown away how that topic was avoided for so long... until I started steadying the detail.  Until recently, it was all about level-2 for home use.  Finding out that many Volt owners never bothered, that level-1 worked just fine for them, was interesting.  It vindicated what I had focused on as a strength for RAV4 Prime.  That being enough contradicts what BEV purists want to support.  It makes the desire for the upgrade from 3.3 kW to the faster 6.6 kW rate even more of a difficult topic to address.  If that is enough, what does it mean for BEV promotion?  The mindset of zero-sum is really a problem with situations like this.  They don't want complexity or compromise.  Meeting in the middle is a sign of defeat.  That makes discussion of solutions extremely difficult... like a BEV owner depending upon DCFC stations almost entirely.  That is the only hope for those living where plug access is either limited or not available though.  But why is it considered a problem?  If you can fulfill basic need, as PHEV have already proven viable, how can that be a bad thing?  I through out some thoughts on that today, since the topic came up within out Minnesota plug-in owners group.  There, we have rather constructive exchanges of ideas.  I added this comment to the on-going discussion:  That depends heavily on price and DC fast-charger access.  BEV are currently priced out of reach for most people, even with tax-credits. We need competitive choices with MSRP below $30k.  Hopes of seeing DCFC pop up in enough numbers to sway people are currently held up here by the lack of a standard.  We need neighborhood CCS stations with at least 6 spots each delivering 150 kW.

2-09-2022

Anti-EV from EV owners.  It happens far more often than you would think.  Today, it was: "Until EVs can go 350-400 miles at highway speeds with climate control on, they will not take over."  They other day, it was that 150kW fast-charging speed is too slow and will harm general acceptance of EVs.  Ugh.  The enthusiast mindset is their own high standards must be met before the technology is good enough for mass acceptance.  Overlooking higher costs and tradeoffs (like efficiency) is a non-issue for them, so the same should be for everyone else.  Again, ugh.  I try to point out how unconstructive that actually is.  But like the Volt enthusiasts, if they ever to figure it out, they will just abandon ship rather than help repair some of the damage they caused.  This was my reply to that:  Do you realize how anti-EV that sounds? Dismiss all the benefits of not having an ICE for the sake of saving some time in such an uncommon situation...  Ugh.  People are not going to turn their backs on low operating costs and basically no maintenance.  BEV with +200 mile ranges will catch on in large numbers.  Do you really think Ford would offer F-150 Lightning with an estimated range of 230 miles if they couldn't sell it?  That model is priced to appeal to those who simply don't care about rare circumstances.  It will work fine for 99% of their needs.

 

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